Prime Minister Visits Brentford

Better business support needed for local businesses


Brentford Chamber of Commerce
Brentford Chamber of Commerce

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Mary Macleod MP welcomed the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, to Brentford today to meet a number of small business owners to hear about their achievements and challenges and what more the Government can do to support them to be successful. 

Sean Quail (boatbuilder with John’s Boatworks), The Prime Minister, John Watson and  Mary Macleod MP

He started his visit at Lot’s Ait Boatyard where he met John Watson from John’s Boat Works who two years ago transformed the boat yard that had fallen into disrepair into a thriving community of small businesses. In addition to John’s boatbuilding and maintenance, the Boat Works is also home to many skilled craftspeople including a fashion designer, restorer of vintage aircraft, a marine engineer and someone who custom builds acoustic guitars!

“We’re pleased to welcome the Prime Minister to be able to explain first hand some of the challenges of running a business,” said John Watson, owner of John’s Boat Works. “Small business owners need all the help they can get in the current climate.”

John Watson explained the history, current operations and future plans for the yard to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister with Brentford Female Entrepreneurs Left to right:  Martha Keith, Maggie Bolger, Anila Vaghela, Suzie Betlem (Brentford Chamber of Commerce), Sarah Campus, The Prime Minister, Mary Macleod MP, Shavata Singh, Matt Hancock MP (Minister for Business and Skills), Karren Brady CBE.

The Prime Minister then joined Mary at a roundtable discussion with local women entrepreneurs at Time Café in Brentford Dock.  The session was chaired by Karren Brady CBE who is the Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party and Matt Hancock MP the Minister for Business and Skills. 

Mary commented:

“It was fantastic to have the Prime Minister visit Brentford today and to see how small businesses are playing their part in regenerating the area.   He was able to see some impressive small businesses at Lot’s Ait Boatyard and meet some amazing local female entrepreneurs.”

“At the roundtable there was much discussion about how to cut through red tape and make it easier to take on your first employee. We also talked about the support the Government has already provided for small businesses by capping business rates, cutting £2,000 from National Insurance bills for businesses from April 2014 and making it easier to access support in one place at”

“The Prime Minister urged the women there to ‘keep doing what you are doing’ saying that growth in the UK will not only come from the big corporates but from small businesses taking on just a few more staff.”

“SMEs really are the engine of growth for the UK recovery and I was so proud to introduce the Prime Minster to some of the great businesses we have locally. “

As President of Brentford Chamber, Suzie Betlem welcomed the opportunity to speak on behalf of Brentford businesses to the Prime Minister. She commented "We hope that reform on business rates will be made in order to help business that are thriving but struggling with overall costs. We have been asking for a local retail and business strategy to help maintain and retain local businesses in Brentford, especially SMEs. Matt Hancock, Minster for Business and Skills, took on board all the comments made and we hope that with the help of Mary Macleod MP changes can be made. There are many entrepreneurs who would benefit from more support than they currently get from Hounslow council."

January 28, 2014

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